Letters and Politics

Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War

A conversation with Joanne B. Freeman about the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress, and how legislative sessions were often punctuated by mortal threats, caning, flipped desks, punches and all-out slugfests during the decades before the Civil War.

Guest: Joanne B. Freeman, is a professor of history and American studies at Yale University, is a leading authority on early national politics and political culture. She is a co-host of the popular history podcast BackStory and the author of The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War.

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